Having been bombarded with midterms there has been little time left for me to contemplate anything besides the Antebellum South, Kabbalists in Judaism, and French verb conjugations. This preoccupation sparked my search for the optimal study environment. Over the past couple weeks I’ve felt like the familiar character Goldie Locks, hopping from space to space until I found one that felt “just right.” However, the perfect placed varied depending on my mood, weather, time of day, and study topic. After days of exploration I have compiled a bulk of information which I feel I am compelled to share via my user friendly “study guide.”
The following locations are ranked on a 1-10 to scale (1 being the worst and 10 the best) and are accompanied by descriptions as well as “insider” tips.
Saxby’s is a prime location for the social studier. If your work is low pressure and you are open to social intereaction/distraction this is a conducive environment. The consistent lull of surround chit chat helps to maintain a low stress level.
Insider Tip: During daylight hours head to booths in the back. This area is more enclosed and allows you to spread out. But be warned, there is no overhead lighting and it becomes completely useless at night. Another tidbit is that Xfinity Radio’s “Coffee House Station” constant backround music is a definite bonus and is now as familiar to me as my own personal playlists.
Ranking: Cleanliness- 7, Music- 10, Bathrooms 5
Huntsman Courtyard (outside the MBA lounge) is ideal for the isolating studier. This rooftop enclave is generally empty and quiet. Its distance from the street and surrounding foliage gives the illusion of being outside the city and provides stress relieving sense of serenity.
Insider Tip: On weekends the doors leading to the courtyard lock behind you. If you want to avoid being locked out of this entrance, prop the door open but prepare to be reprimanded by wandering security guards.
Ranking: Cleanliness- 10, Music- N/A, Bathrooms- 7
Starbucks (34th and Walnut) Perfect for the caffiene addicted social studier. Two levels provide a downstairs and outdoor seating which permits people watching and a lofted level which minimizes distraction.
Insider Tip: This location offers 54 cents Trenta coffee refills which makes it superior to the Starbucks located in Commons. Head here if you anticipate a long night ahead of you.
Ranking: Cleanliness- 10, Music- 7, Bathrooms- 9
Capogiro provides a trendy environment for casual studying. Sipping diet coke from a glass bottle al fresco gives a European feel. If your work is low key enough (or overwhelmingly stressful), they even serve alcoholic beverages to sip while studying.
Insider Tip: As tempting as their bounty of outdoor seats are, don’t sit without making a Capogiro purchase (or G-d forbid light a cigarette within the roped off area.) Capogiro only wants nonsmoking patrons in their space and they are not shy about calling people out.
Rankings: Cleanliness- 10 Music- 8 Bathrooms- 10
Huntsman Silent Room is in my mind the only place to study for my most stressful exams. For isolating studiers, this is the place to be. The room is silent except for the clicking of keyboards. There is every type of seating to meet any preference and electrical outlets are plentiful which is crucial when pulling an all nighter.
Insider Tip: Don’t forget your PennCard. Otherwise, after 10 PM, security will kick you out. Once you are in the study zone the last thing you want is to be interrupted.
Ranking: Cleanliness- 9 Music- N/A Bathrooms- 8